Mad Dog Episode 9 “Traitor”
Someone has broken into the Mad Dog office. He starts to search the computers. The lights go on and Choi Kang Woo (Yoo Ji Tae) steps forward. Then Kim Min Joon (Woo Do Hwan) steps forward. Kang Woo asks the man what he’s doing here. The man’s face is revealed…it’s Officer Jo! Min Joo calls him a traitor and asks who he’s working for. Kang Woo asks again. Officer Jo can only mutter that he’s sorry.
Jang Ha Ri (Ryu Hwa Young), Park Soon Jung (Jo Jae Yun), and On Noo Ri (Kim Hye Seong) watch from the other room. Ha Ri turns off the video feed. Officer Jo has been Kang Woo’s friend for 20 years. They deserve privacy. Min Joon returns to the room and asks them to leave. It’s obvious he plans to watch Kang Woo and Officer Jo’s interaction.
Officer Jo admits that 2 years ago when the loan sharks were pressing him for repayment, Chairman Cha came into his life. Initially he only ran errands. He reminds Kang Woo about his daughter’s high medical costs. Kang Woo asks what information he gave Chairman Cha. Officer Jo admits to leaking that X’s blood was on Ms. Lee’s clothes and other things. He begs Kang Woo to keep quiet until his daughter’s upcoming surgery is done. He promises to investigate Chairman Cha. Kang Woo scoffs that X was murdered in police custody and no one is safe. Officer Jo has the gall to remind Kang Woo that his wife and son are dead, and nothing will bring them back, but his daughter still has a chance. Officer Jo begs Kang Woo to wait until the surgery.
Min Joon watches the scene, sees the turmoil on Kang Woo’s face and wonders if this will throw Kang Woo off his game.
Kang Woo tells Officer Jo to report that nothing was found in the Mad Dog office. Officer Jo is grateful. Kang Woo warns that all bets are off after his daughter’s surgery. He tells Officer Jo to leave and not come back. Both men have tears in their eyes as they watch their friendship dissolve.
Min Joon can’t believe the deal Kang Woo made. He calls Kang Woo hopeless.
When Ha Ri arrives the next morning she where Min Joon is. Out jogging is Soon Jung and Noo Ri’s response. She calls Min Joon who lies that he injured himself jogging and has seek medical help. He stares at the hospital. Ha Ri has Noo Ri check Min Joon’s computer actions. They find he watched last night’s interaction with Officer Jo and Kang Woo. They find Min Joon copied a video. Ha Ri wonders if Min Joon is heading to the hospital where Officer Jo’s daughter is.
Min Joon goes to Officer Jo’s daughter room and sees his wife step into the hallway. He follows her to the cafeteria and befriends her claiming to have a brother that has been in the hospital 2 years. Officer Jo’s wife confides her daughter has been in the hospital 4 years. When Nurse Oh comes to the table to let Officer Jo’s wife know her daughter is awake, Min Joon ducks his head. But to no avail, she spots him.
In an examining room, Min Joon reveals he has not injury from jogging. Nurse Jo chides him for using a woman whose daughter has waited for a transplant for 4 years. Min Joon teases that Soon Jung must have told her about him. He asks if they are dating. Soon Jung sees them from the hallway and doesn’t like what he sees. He interrupts. Nurse Jo breezes past saying she’s not interested in Min Joon. Soon Jung scampers after her.
Ha Ri finds Min Joon and demands the video he copied. Min Joon feigns ignorance. They are interrupted when Officer Jo and his wife see them. His wife greets him and Min Joon pretends that he didn’t realize she was Officer Jo’s wife. She asks how the two men know each other. Min Joon lies that her husband helped him find his brother. Unable to dispute the lie, Officer Jo glares.
In a quiet spot, Officer Jo demands to know if Min Joon is here to threaten him. Min Joon admits he was, but after meeting his wife and knowing about his daughter, he won’t. He offers Officer Jo the video to take to Chairman Cha. He reasons that Chairman Cha expected Officer Jo to find something. If Officer Jo claims nothing was found, that will be a red flag to Chairman Cha. Ha Ri says that Kang Woo won’t like this. Min Joon retorts that Kang Woo shoulders the burden for everyone and risk must be shared. That’s the pot calling the kettle black. Office Jo agrees and takes the video promising to put it in Chairman Cha’s hands. Officer Jo apologizes to Ha Ri for his actions. He leaves.
Ha Ri teases Ha Ri that the Mad Dog Team are all softies. He warns her if she doesn’t toughen up, she’ll be taken to the cleaners by another man. She swings and missing hitting him. Min Joon chuckles. He states she clinches on first before throwing a punch. He claims to have her number. He strides away. Ha Ri yells in frustration.
Kang Woo and Ha Ri meet for lunch. She explains what Min Joon instigated and what Officer Jo agreed to do. Kang Woo declares he’ll stop this because the surgery is the crucial event that cannot be delayed. Ha Ri tells Kang Woo to let things play out. Kang Woo wants to solve the problem. Ha Ri points out that both Kang Woo and Min Joon try and control everything. She states the obvious, their mindsets are similar. She asks why he must get involved? Can’t he trust to handle Officer’s Jo situation. Kang Woo cannot rebuke her claim. She leaves irritated.
Min Joon asks if Ha Ri is irritated because she learned that Kang Woo doesn’t trust her implicitly. She complains that Kang Woo and Min Joon are similar in that regard. Then Min Joon asks the question he really wanted to ask…does she like Kang Woo romantically. She scoffs. Relieved, Min Joon claims he always assumed a father / daughter kind of relationship. He asks how they met, was it through a con artist? Ha Ri reveals her father met a con artist who involved him in an insurance fraud to give her a better life. But things went wrong, and her father was made the scapegoat. He died from cancer. She says con artists always prey on the vulnerable. Ha Ri identifies Min Joon as a con artist that does respect other. She throws his words “the Mad Dog Team are all softies” back in his face. She declares she cannot see him as a human. She cries. Uncomfortable Min Joon agrees to exit the car as she asked him to do earlier. Before he leaves he places his handkerchief near her. He exits and stares at Ha Ri crying. Ha Ri gets a grip, looks at Min Joon, sees the handkerchief and drives away.
Terrific scene. For the first time, something personal is shared. Min Joon knew Ha Ri nailed him as a con artist. But for her, he wished he wasn’t. He couldn’t comfort her, so he left a token of his caring. Good to hear some of the backstory of Ha Ri.
Officer Jo meets with Chairman Cha. He hands the video to Chairman Cha. In turn, Chairman Cha asks if Kang Woo took the bait. Officer Jo confirms this. Chairman Cha wishes his daughter’s surgery goes well. Officer Jo thanks him for his help.
What’s the bait?
Kang Woo stops by while Officer Jo eats. He reminds his friend to not skip meals. He tells him not to see again.
Chairman Cha and the legal counsel agree to not infiltrate Hyun Gi’s safe until next week. He wonders why the information from Officer Jo was benign. Should he poke the mad dog? When his secretary announces Kang Woo’s arrival, he tells her to have Kang Woo meet him in the greenhouse. He tells the legal counsel not to run into Kang Woo.
Irksome to see Chairman Cha openly using Kang Woo and enjoying it.
Kang Woo stops a man exiting Chairman Cha’s office but only sees his back. He finds Chairman Cha in the greenhouse and reports a fraud perpetrator was caught. Kang Woo asks why he’s being seeing JH airline people at the insurance company. He asks who and Kang Woo identifies Hyun Gi. Chairman Cha says he’s helping his friend’s son, Hyun Gi. When Kang Woo offers to help move a bag of soil, Chairman Cha barks not to touch it. Kang Woo leaves noting the spontaneous reaction. Chairman Cha hides the video in a safe he keeps behind his potting supplies.
Min Joon meets with the reporter. Min Joon says he’s still considering making a claim against JH airlines. The reporter gives Min Joon the dirt that Hyun Gi’s father has been rumored to be dead for 2 years, but information was suppressed because of succession murkiness. Min Joon wonders if the black box video was doctored by Hyun Gi to help his rise to power.
Hyun Gi isn’t happy when his legal counsel informs him that Min Joon met with the lawyer previously. The lawyer gets a text showing Min Joon outside JH airlines protesting. Hyun Gi and legal counsel find Min Joon with a sign that states “I hold JH Airlines responsible for the depression that killed by brother”. Hyun Gi orders his men to remove Min Joon. But Kang Woo surprises them by hitting Min Joon and yelling that his brother killed his family not JH airlines. The men pull Kang Woo off Min Joon. Kang Woo notices Hyun Gi watching and inclines his head.
Hyun Gi invites Kang Woo to his office. Kang Woo apologizes for causing a scene over an old grudge. Hyun Gi offers his condolences for the loss Kang Woo suffered in the crash. He inappropriately asks if Kang Woo has an interest on Hong Joo. Kang Woo just stares. Hyun Gi pretends he was joking. He asks why Kang Woo came to JH airline. Kang Woo says the black box recording is missing from the depository. He asks for a copy. Hyun Gi agrees to provide it.
Min Joon picks up Kang Woo. He complains that Kang Woo hit him harder than expected. Kang Woo quips he put his heart into that hit. Min Joon tells him not to worry about him, but Ha Ri could use some support. Kang Woo demands answers with his stare. Min Joon admits he hurt Ha Ri and didn’t know how to comfort her. He isn’t good at the human side of life. Kang Woo stares again. Min Joon agrees to apologize to Ha Ri. Kang Woo orders him to leave Ha Ri alone. Min Joon asks what Hyun Gi said about the black box. Kang Woo says Hyun Gi will undoubtedly contact Chairman Cha. Kang Woo declares that Chairman Cha has had it easy for two years, it is time to turn up the heat.
Nice to see Kang Woo and Min Joon work together. Chairman Cha deserves the poke(s) he’ll get at the hands of these two!
Sitting in the bugged conference room, Hyun Gi calls Chairman Cha and informs him Kang Woo is asking for the original black box. Chairman Cha tells Hyun Gi to fake it. Hyun Gi asks Chairman Cha to confirm he has the original black box. Chairman Cha does. Chairman Cha confirms they swap after the meeting next week. Min Joon pulls over and tells Kang Woo that Chairman Cha has the black box.
Hyun Gi not making that phone call from his office is convenient. But now we know the leverage Chairman Cha has – the black box that undoubtedly reveals the mechanical malfunction, and the leverage Hyun Gi has – the original insurance policies of Min Joon’s brother.
The Mad Dog Team and Kang Woo (in his house) discusses the ramifications of the conversation between Hyun Gi and Chairman Cha. Min Joon puts the pieces together, both men hold leverage to ensure neither betrays the other. They wonder where Chairman Cha stores the black box. Kang Woo remembers how touchy Chairman Cha was in the garden. Min Joon suggests they break in. Ha Ri notes that the Chairman practically lives in his office. Kang Woo states he’ll check the schedule. He tells his team good night. Min Joon proposes beer. Ha Ri counters with soju. They all agree.
Hong Joo sits at the bar and stands to leave when she spots Hyun Gi. He asks why Kang Woo was asking him about the insurance policies and the black box. That sparks Hong Joo’s memory of Kang Woo telling her Min Joon’s brother’s insurance policies were fabricated. She asks Hyun Gi what he and her father have done. Hyun Gi counters they did what they had to do to survive. Hong Joo doesn’t understand why. Hyun Gi bluntly tells her that they blamed Min Joon’s brother for a crash he did not commit. Hong Joo can’t believe it. Hyun Gi tells her not to cry until tomorrow, that’s when his father will die. Hong Joo is stunned.
Min Joon joins Ha Ri, Soon Jung, and Noo Ri at the eatery where they are drinking soju. Soon Jung senses the tension between Min Joon and Ha Ri. He makes an excuse for he and Noo Ri to leave. Min Joon looks at Soon Jung imploringly but Soon Jung won’t reverse course. Ha Ri offer Min Joon soju. He declines. She glares. He accepts. She apologizes to him for yesterday. Min Joon says he’s the one that needs to apologize. A news report flashes about Hyun Gi’s father taking a turn for the worse in the hospital and it is not expected to live much longer. Min Joon realizes the event next week Hyun Gi referred to be his father’s death and funeral.
Hyun Gi sits by an empty hospital bed. He tells the legal counsel to declare his father dead. He stares in the mirror and cries false tears. Chairman Cha wishes his old friend a peaceful life after death.
Kang Woo enters the insurance building with a camera on his tie clip. He runs into Hong Joo who says she wants to discuss the insurance policies he mentioned yesterday. She states Ha Ri was the POC and he should contact her. Due the funeral, their discussion will have to be tomorrow.
The Mad Dog Team prepares to infiltrate Chairman Cha’s garden. With Chairman Cha leaving for the funeral, today is the day to strike. Min Joon details how he sent an expensive plant to the Chairman as a gift. Flashback to Chairman Chia receiving the plant and placing it near his precious orchids. Min Joon says the ethanol the plant emits will wilt the orchids. Sure enough, the orchids are wilting.
Chairman Cha orders Kang Woo and Manager Park to attend the funeral too. Kang Woo asks Manager Park to drive him home, so he can change. Ha Ri spots him leaving and calls Kang Woo. He says his plans were altered but their plan should continue. Ha Ri assures him all will go off without a hitch.
Ha Ri reports to the team that Kang Woo has been directed to attend Chairman Cha’s funeral. That surprises Soon Jung. Our intrepid trio (Ha Ri, Soon Jung, and Min Joon) enter the building and head to Chairman Cha’s office. Soon Jung and Min Joon introduce themselves as the plant doctors. Ha Ri arrives and asks Chairman Cha’s secretary if she can take a break for tea. The secretary promises to be back once she gets the plant doctors settled. Soon Jung and Min Joon play off each other as the diagnose the issue. They snap their gloves in sync and declare they’ll inspect all the plants. The secretary joins Ha Ri and they decide on the tea while the plant doctors get to work.
Kang Woo tells Manager Park it’s odd they were invited to the funeral. Manager Park agrees. Officer Jo calls Kang Woo. He warns Kang Woo that it is a trap his team is stepping into. Kang Woo order Manager Park to turn around.
Soon Jung and Min Joon look at the fertilizer bags Chairman Cha warned Kang Woo to stay away from.
When Chairman Cha and Hong Joo arrive at the hospital Hyun Gi is there to greet them. Chairman Cha says he knows that he set a trap for Kang Woo.
Flashback…Hyun Gi has his tech guy adjust the bug in the conference room. He calls Chairman Cha knowing someone is listening.
Hyun Gi can’t believe Chairman Cha knew of his shenanigans. Chairman Cha enters the hospital. Hyung Gi reminds Hong Joo that she convinced Kang Woo’s wife to take the trip. Hong Joo counters that she didn’t know the plane would crash. Hyun Gi counters that she knew JH airlines had defective planes and still sold them insurance. She shrugs saying she’ll catch Kang Woo before he catches them. She joins her father. Chairman Cha asks what that was about. She tells him nothing. Chairman Cha congratulates her for setting the trap for Kang Woo. Now we see Hong Joo’s conversation with Kang Woo is part of the trap to lure the Mad Dog Team to try and obtain the black box. Chairman Cha chuckles with glee. Kang Woo is so loyal to his team, he’ll sacrifice himself to save them. Then he’ll put the screw to Kang Woo to retrieve the insurance papers Hyun Gi possesses.
Soon Jung and Min Joon get close to the safe. When Soon Jung spots it and puts his hand near it, an alarm is sounded.
Officer Jo and 3 other officers arrive about the burglary. Security escorts them to Chairman Cha’s office.
Ha Ri is surprised to see Kang Woo arrive. He bursts into the green house and orders Soon Jung and Min Joon to escape, he’ll take the fall for the break in.
Another good cliffhanger. Writer Kim Soo Jin let Kang Woo’s enemies deep understanding of him set him up. The ending was full of multiple reveals – Officer Jo’s warning to Kang Woo that his team was in trouble (and setting up Kang Woo to return to the scene of the crime), Chairman Cha revealing he knew of Hyun Gi’s attempt to use Kang Woo to retrieve the black box, Hong Joo’s reveal that she positioned Kang Woo with her conversation. Kang Woo appears blind to these machinations and now he’s trapped. Can he escape?
The Mad Dog Team – Ha Ri, Kang Woo, Moo Shin, Noo Ri, and Min Joo sting operation in Chairman Cha’s office did not go as planned. I had to laugh when Soon Jung and Min Joon snapped their gloves simultaneously. I’m enjoying this team gelling, but their path isn’t easy. How will they get out of the mess they are in?
Chairman Cha, his daughter Hong Joo, and Hyun Gi dynamics continue to fascinate. Just when I discounted Hong Joo as a real player, she puts the screws to Kang Woo. She proved her loyalty is to the insurance company. For those of you that don’t want Hong Joo and Kang Woo to connect, this guarantees that won’t happen. Hyun Gi tried to manipulate Kang Woo to his own ends, only to be disappointed that he couldn’t beat the master, Chairman Cha. Speaking of the force of evil, Chairman Cha’s statements to “poking the Mad Dog” proved using Kang Woo is his only interest. Did Chairman Cha deliberately get upset when Kang Woo touched the fertilizer as part of the plan? It must be.
Choi Kang Woo (Yoo Ji Tae) returned to the insurance company to save his team. Kang Woo is loyal and willing to sacrifice himself for the Mad Dog Team. Chairman Cha knew this and set his plan in motion to get Kang Woo at his mercy. As predicted, Kang Woo told his team to leave and he’d take responsibility for the break in. Kang Woo is a decent chess player, but Chairman Cha is a master. He’s many moves in front of Kang Woo. I enjoyed the car scene between Kang Woo and Min Joo. Kang Woo was like a dad/uncle/older brother when Min Joon admitted he upset Ha Ri and Kang Woo ordered him to apologize.
Kim Min Joon (Woo Do Hwan) got himself in trouble with Ha Ri. Min Joon has walls around his heart. He’s pulled toward Ha Ri. He prodded and she shared her past. He was happy to confirm she didn’t have romantic designs on Kang Woo. But when faced with the fact that he hurt Ha Ri’s feelings, Min Joon first reaction was to flee but offered comfort with his handkerchief. I like that Min Joon isn’t a suave lady killer, but rather man that doesn’t do feelings well. Min Joon’s bumbling plant doctor was cute.
Jang Ha Ri (Ryu Hwa Young) shared some of her backstory. She shared her father got taken by a con man. She told Min Joon he was a con man. She’s not wrong. But Min Joon pricked her and tears came forth. Like a typical man uncomfortable with tears, he left. When he tried to apologize over soju, the attempt was thwarted by her apology. I continue to enjoy the slow build of this couple.
Park Soon Jung (Jo Jae Yun) worked well with Min Joon as plant doctors. He gave Min Joo the knowing look to makes thing right with Ha Ri when he and Noo Ri left the eatery.
On Noo Ri (Kim Hye Seong) wasn’t happy to learn that Min Joon had messed with his computers. It was like Min Joon touched his most precious possession.
Ranking the episodes (on a scale from 1-10) had me rank this episode as excellent. My episode ranking chart is below.